The DGA, SAG-AFTRA, and the WGA spoke to a packed, standing-room-only audience on Tuesday afternoon, at The AFM in Santa Monica. A tough 1 and a 1/2 hours of hard truths about the three guild’s agreements and how to ensure your production is compliant, pitfalls to avoid and “good practices” for all levels of budgets. Oh how the devil’s in the details, but those details can and DO matter. For example, knowing who SAG-AFTRA covers, and who they do not, can affect your production greatly – be careful when filming in a location abroad to use a local casting director who knows the local agreements; not all UK and Canadian actors are SAG-AFTRA, for example, in fact they may have a choice which agreement to use. Posting bonds with the guild for payment of your talent may cost you up to twice your talent budget upfront, while a director’s bond may be a much smaller percentage. Never, NEVER forget to sign the Distributor’s Assumption Agreement when selling your film, because if not, you may end up having the guild step in to ensure actor’s residuals are paid years after production is completed. And warnings to check with your guilds before film lock were emphasized, less you have to re-open your film to correct the writer’s credits days before your big festival premier. After 90 minutes of legal and financial minutiae – all very critical – the crowd was glassy-eyed, slightly overwhelmed with procedural detail, but mostly, no doubt, scared straight to ever again hire Aunt Sarah, shoot in their living room and blow-off Worker’s Comp insurance.
We wish to thank our news staff of : Denise Bohdan, Margie Rey, Steve Taylor, and Roger Lim, for their coverage of AFM. More to come – daily from AFM !
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